I’ll be honest, I’m actually very disappointed by this movie.
Not that I didn’t recognize it for crap from a mile away, of course I did, c’mon. But when I caught the line “Enough with performance art, it’s time for protest art” in the trailer, my ears perked up. I sat up a little straighter in my seat. That’s a line that shows a LOT of potential… some awesomely awful potential. Combined with the preposterous concept, I had hopes that this movie might be a ridiculously enjoyable block of cheese.
Alas, it was not to be.
It’s my sad duty to report that “Step Up Revolution” isn’t deliciously bad, it’s just plain old bad.
“Step Up Revolution” focuses on the antics of an underground troupe of dancers based in Miami known as “The Mob”. “The Mob” performs elaborate group dances in public, disrupting the normal ebb and flow of society at the moment in that spot. They’re a “Flash Mob”.
They’re currently attempting to win a contest on YouTube, where the first channel to get ten million hits will be awarded $100,000. Soon, however, it comes to their attention that a wealthy developer (Peter Gallagher) has targeted their neighborhood for high rises. They’re in danger of losing their homes and businesses. Complicating the situation is the fact that one of the two leaders of “The Mob” (Ryan Guzman) has fallen for the developer’s daughter (Kathryn McCormick), and she for him. She’s a talented dancer in her own right, and competing to earn a spot in a prestigious dance company. When she learns about “The Mob”… she wants in. It’s not long after she joins that she suggests “The Mob” fight back against her father’s expansion plans. It’s her idea to make the move from performance art to protest art. At her suggestion, “The Mob” turns their attention to blocking his efforts and drawing attention to the plague of corporate greed.
Which may sound pointless, until you realize that “The Mob” exists in a world where the cops only show up if the plot needs a late second act downbeat. Otherwise, the streets and museums and restaraunts and office buildings of Miami are theirs. They have unlimited time to perform without fear of interruption or reprisal. Which is a good thing, because with their bottomless budget and instantaneous rehearsal ability, they manage to put on some extremely elaborate shows! It’s a good thing that the business of Miami that they target are constantly hiring low-level employees so that “The Mob” can infiltrate as waiters and security guards and busboys and djs, etc, etc. “The Mob” is basically a crunking, break dancing Cirque du Soleil that has the ability to strike with completely new routines at a moments notice.
Which is ludicrous, c’mon, I should love that! The problem is, they don’t actually have any fun characters, there’s not enough goofiness to the time between routines. In fact, there’s not enough time between routines in any regard. “Step Up Revolution” is so concerned with its elaborate performance numbers that it squeezes out almost everything in between. It’s almost like a continuous flash mob video. The time that did space the set pieces was spent mainly on the romance between Guzman and McCormick, and let’s just say neither one of threaten to be the next Tatum or Dewan (who just landed a key role in American Horror Story s2). It’s unfortunate, but outside of the very concept itself, we weren’t given a lot of fun stupidity to work with. If I had time to think of thinks like, “After taxes that $100,000 from YouTube is more like $70,000, and then there’s 10 core people in the mob, so after taxes these guys would at best be making like seven grand off of this… and that’s before netting expenses,” you know the movie wasn’t capturing me.
I had been hoping for a movie that would earn a split grade. I had desperately wanted to see an F/A movie here. But the promise of the “Enough with performance art, it’s time for protest art” line was never delivered upon aside from the sublimely delivered “I want to join the Mob” (not a hint of irony LOL).
It’s just plain old bad.